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Life in Pictures: Samantha Power

For the latest edition of “Life in Pictures,” 43-year-old Samantha Power, United States ambassador to the United Nations, allowed photographer Stephanie Sinclair to follow her around Midtown East on March 13. Click through the gallery ahead for a day filled with baseball talk, kid-ferrying, and Ukraine-crisis management.


Kansas Parents Worried That Michelle Obama Will Upstage Their High Schoolers

A few days ago, Michelle Obama accepted Topeka, Kansas's invitation to speak at a five-high school graduation ceremony taking place in an 8,000-seat arena there next month. The speech will be tied to the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision on Brown v. the Board of Education — a case that began as a class action lawsuit in Topeka and eventually led to the abolition of segregated schools in the United States. However, the Associated Press reports that some parents — and teenagers — would rather do without all that gravitas and star power, lest the First Lady upstage the city's graduating seniors on their big day. Plus, they're worried about how she would affect "the tight limit on the number of seats allotted to each graduate."


Train Nearly Takes Out Senator During Safety Press Conference

The Metro-North's reputation has taken a hit over the last couple years, given the two major derailments — one of which killed four people — a system-wide outage that left thousands of passengers stranded in the dead of winter, and several fatal accidents on the tracks. On Friday, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal held a press conference on a platform at the Milford Metro-North station to discuss its less-than-stellar safety record, which includes $552,000 in fines for 139 violations and defects over the last decade. (That's five times more problems than any other commuter railroad in the country, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration.) But, as Milford Mayor Ben Blake spoke at the podium, an oncoming train gave Blumenthal a friendly reminder that riders also have to do their part to avoid becoming the subject of a grisly scene.

Those yellow lines are there for a reason. »

Woman Taken Into Custody After Trying to Steal a Baby in Chelsea

On Friday night, the NYPD took 46-year-old Tara Anne McDonald into custody after a disturbing Thursday afternoon incident in Chelsea: A nanny was pushing an eight-month-old baby in a stroller near 17th Street and Eighth Avenue when she was approached by McDonald, who began mumbling and trying to pull the carriage away. "The lady that grabbed the stroller by the handle – she was saying, 'You’re a liar! These are my babies!'" said UPS driver William Marte, who was nearby.


Rebel Group Frees French Journalists Kidnapped in Syria

Less than a month after freeing two captured Spanish journalists, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant released four French reporters taken hostage in Syria on Friday. The men were brought to the Şanlıurfa province, near the Turkish border, blindfolded and with their hands bound, Turkish news outlet Dogan News Agency reported. Nicolas Henin (of Le Point magazine), Pierre Torres (of French-German TV channel Arte), Edouard Elias (a photographer), and Didier Francois (of Europe 1 radio) were taken captive in two different incidents last June. French President François Hollande said the group appeared to be "in good health."

Captain and Crew Members of Sunken South Korean Ferry Arrested

On Saturday, the captain and two of the crew members from the Sewol, the ferry that sank on Wednesday near Mokpo, South Korea were arrested in connection with the disaster, which has left 32 people confirmed dead and over 280 still missing in the water. Prosecutors say that the captain, 68-year-old Lee Joon-seok, has been charged with abandoning his ship and people in need of help and violations of maritime law. Meanwhile, the boat's helmsman, 55-year-old Cho Joon-ki, and the 26-year-old Park Han-kyul are each facing three related charges.


Brave Teen Asks Miss America to Prom, Ends Up Suspended

We’d be hard-pressed to blame anyone for asking Miss America (otherwise known as Nina Davuluri) on a date — but, then again, we're not high-school administrators tasked with keeping legions of teens in order. The Associated Press reports that when Patrick Farves, a Pennsylvania senior, used the question-and-answer portion of Davuluri's appearance at Central York High School to invite her to prom and present her with a plastic flower, the adults in charge were less than amused. For his chivalry, the 18-year-old was slapped with three days of in-school suspension "for breaking rules" (he was warned not to pull a stunt like this ahead of time). On the plus side, this probably also earned him some pretty awesome yearbook entries from his peers. No word yet on whether Davuluri accepted his offer.

Portland Teen Who Peed in Drinking-Water Reservoir Has a Point

The world's most famous public urinator, this week, is 18-year-old Dallas Swonger of Portland, Oregon, who was watched in security footage by nearly 200,000 people on the official pdxwater YouTube channel. In addition to the public humiliation and police citation, Swonger is being blamed for the city having to dump 38 million gallons of water. He swears it's not necessary.

"I didn't piss in the fucking water," Swonger said in a star-making interview with Vocativ. "I leaned up against the wall and pissed on it. Right there on the wall, dude. I don't know else how to describe it."


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